CALM DOWN, it’s gonna be alright. I know you’re still trying to get over the lack of a Nerdy Tunes Thursday last week, but there there…lets embrace each other and snuggle away the sad. This week’s theme is Postmodern Jukebox! Scot Bradlee (@scottbradlee on twitter) is an american musician & composer, who became successfull working in the New York Jazz scene. In 2009 Scott began reworking popular music, taking 80’s songs and incorporating rag-time style piano. In 2013, Bradlee began to work more seriously on forming Postmodern Jukebox, a rotating group of musicians producing covers of pop songs in the styles of jazz, ragtime, and swing. From Scott Bradlee’s personal site:
I have long had a love/hate relationship with pop music.
Growing up as an aspiring jazz pianist, I wasn’t interested in listening to anything that might appeal to those that I deemed to possess a less than refined palette of musical taste. This willful ignorance continued for some time; it was not until I began making YouTube videos (and subsequently receiving requests for modern pop songs) that I decided to drop my preconceived notions and examine contemporary pop with an open mind.
What I found is that, despite my initial aversion to the stuff I was hearing, I was unable to truly categorize this as “bad music” without first defining a set of arbitrary, culturally-defined criteria. Furthermore, the fact that such a rigorous vetting process exists for the output of major labels indicated that these songs and artists certainly RESONATED with the culture of our times–no easy feat, in and of itself. As a relentless devil’s advocate, I then found that by simply altering the context of such songs, I could find quite a bit of artistic merit inside of them. My goal with Postmodern Jukebox is to get my audience to think of songs not as rigid, ephemeral objects, but like malleable globs of silly putty. Songs can be twisted, shaped, and altered without losing their identities–just as we grow, age, and expire without losing ours–and it is through this exploration that the gap between “high” and “low” art can be bridged most readily.
I want to contribute to the pop music lexicon in the best way that I can.
I want to encourage others to push the boundaries of genres, and give them the tools to do so.
Together, I want to create an alternate universe of popular song.
(aka ScottBradleeLovesYa on YouTube)
I’ve been srsly into these mashups while working and I’ve prefered these over the originals. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Pretty catchy right? Be sure to visit their youtube page to check out other songs. Which one did you like? Let us know in the comments/ tweet us at @nerdworktweets !